(The following event transpired one month before the 1st session)
::The massive half orc listened intently to his dwarven friend recall the tale of his dwarven clan abandoning their stronghold in the Storm-Horn Mountains. The wooden deck of the INN’s entrance creaked loudly, as if in opposition to his immense weight, but held firm as he slowly shifted back and forth looking down and nodding absently as he finished one last, long drag of tobacco before absently flicking the remnant of the material off the porch. He exhaled the smoke through his nose, brow furrowed in frustration with the disturbing tale of the Devil known as “yellow eyes” who apparently had been the creature responsible for dwarves evacuation.::
J Winchester – … After we were driven from the mouth of the cave entrance, he spoke to us through our high priest. It was him, but it wasn’t his voice. He said “I have seen beyond the bounds of infinity and drawn down daemons from the stars. . . . I have harnessed the shadows that stride from world to world to sow death and madness. Man rules now where they ruled once; they shall soon rule where man rules now. After summer is winter, and after winter summer. They wait patient and potent, for here shall they reign again.” Then he just fell over, dead. His eyes were wide, and his features grim. He died hard. It was disturbing. I remember looking at him as one of the soldiers made his way over urging me to back away. I could tell he was afraid because his hand on my shoulder shook the entire time, and his grip was like a vice. … After we traveled south to Suzail, we spoke with King Azoun who took us in. I was there as a witness to what happened when what was left of our council told the tale to the King of Cormyr. After hearing it all the king said our Priest must have died of fright. He said, the oldest and strongest emotion is fear, and the oldest and strongest kind of fear is fear of the unknown. And I knew he meant yellow eyes…later when talk came up of requesting aid to retake the stronghold the King said, It is absolutely necessary, for the peace and safety of all, that some of Faerun’s dark, dead corners and unplumbed depths be let alone; lest sleeping abnormalities wake to resurgent life, and blasphemously surviving nightmares squirm and splash out of their black lairs to newer and wider conquests. Your home is here now. Leave the Dwarven kingdom of the Storm-Horns in the past as you move forward. Your future is here. And that was that…
::The Cormyrian Knights voice was suddenly drowned out by a large wagon that had pulled up to the INN, several men in dark armor with symbols of the god BANE prominently displayed on their shoulder guards dismount from horses and emerged from the back of the wagon. Stopping to stretch and look about with a look of mild consternation, their leader made his way toward the INN’s entrance, stopping at the base of the stairs looking from the Dwarf to the Half-Orc.::
Bane Soldier – I thought it bad enough this country allows so many orcs to run about without a proper overseer, now I see they openly consort with dwarves. Your clan must be weak indeed, dwarf.
J Winchester – No. no, I have just observed the people of Thesk prefer dangerous freedom over peaceful slavery. (wink)
::The two stared down each other for several seconds when suddenly the sound of a match being struck by the Half-orc breaks the awkward silence as he tilted his head down to light another piece of tobacco, his eyes looking up the entire time at the men gathering on the stairs. Another one of the human soldiers moves forward, rubbing shoulders with his leader he absently nods in the Half-Orc’s direction while tapping his hand impatiently on hilt of his sword::
Bane Solider – Hey. “ORC”. Give me one of those.
::The Half Orc slowly and methodically moved forward, casting a large shadow that enveloped three of the soldiers as he reached the landing at the bottom of the stairs. He stared at the man for a moment that seemed to almost issue a challenge, but finally shifted his weight instead while casually looking down at their feet. Smirking, he pivoted sideways and using his foot to flick the remains of his discarded piece of tobacco that was lying in the dirt toward the human banite.::
Warlug- Sure. That’s your brand there, pal.
Banite ::drawing a sword:: Son of a…
::A large crack quickly emanated from behind their wagon, at first a piercing shriek that quickly grew into a thunderous boom. The Banite soldiers dispersed, and reformed in a crude column on the opposite side of the wagon behind their leader, a tall balding man with a long scar under his left eye. He glared up defiantly at another dwarf sitting atop a horse who returned his hateful glare. The dwarf seemed unkempt, and had a wild and fierce look about him. He pulled his horse up alongside the leader who was standing in what was left of one of the wagons wheels that had been blown apart. The unseemly dwarf glared down at the banite, one hand simultaneously holding the reigns and a jar with clear liquid in it, while the other gripped an onyx battle axe that was covered with intermittent trails of blue lightning that seemed to be coming from the dwarves forearm::
Jambro Winchester- Someone went and fucked up yer wagon. ::shaking his head he turned to glance behind him:: You are in luck though… There is a general store half a mile that way. Im sure the locals will be happy to take your money Banite. We appreciate you stimulating the local economy and all.
::The Banite leader glared daggers up at the dwarf who simply belched loudly after finishing off what was in the jar and tossing the empty container down at the humans feet.::
Banite Leader – I think that is a fine idea. Then we will be moving along (he quickly stifled his men who began to voice their discontent with a wave of his hand) But, I’m sure we will meet again.
::The Half-Orc and Dwarven Knight had now made their way over to flank the Banites on each side::
J Winchester – Well… “Bye”.
::The Trio watched the men get back onto their horses and the damaged wagon slowly make a u-turn back toward the direction of the general store. After they all turned and made their way up the stairs toward the INN doors (a window off to the side slowly closes as the trio enter the INN), the three men are immediately greeted by a lean devilish figure in a long trench coat holding a bow. He grins sideways at them while pushing a stylish fedora up with his thumb::
Ashik- Making new friends again I see.
Warlug – No one ever wants to play with me. (Shaking his head side to side)
Ahsik – “I” don’t want to play with you….
Warlug- Guess I’ll go kick rocks.
::A sharp voice interrupts the two as Warlug pats Ashik on the shoulder, and the group begins to take a seat at a large table. A small figure stands up on the bench, his round and bright face beaming from behind a large metal footlocker laying haphazardly across the table.::
Kryspin – I will play with you Warlug!
Warlug- (looking down at the metal chest) It looks like you have your hands full already little fella…
J Winchester- Quick, where did you get this?
Jambro- Who cares where he got it. He got it, let’s see what’s in it at least.
J Winchester- You know where this came from…
Jambro- And I still don’t give a damn.
::Grinning, the group huddles over the chest that was obviously taken from the Banite wagon::
Kryspin- You won’t believe what people leave lying around. This must have fell off that wagon those guys you were trying to help. It was sure nice of you to give them directions… I am sure they wouldn’t want its contents to get stolen. There is a bad element around here, I mean look at what someone did to their wagon wheel! We better take an inventory…
Ashkin- (almost spitting his drink out; shaking his head) that’s really fucking thin Kryspin…
J Winchester- (rubbing his temples) Hell, thin is his middle name…
::Click, a small head with a topknot peeks over the top of the chest, eyes darting from side to side as a loud creak is heard and the lid is raised. A soft golden light immediately spilling out in all directions…::
Collectively – “Ohhhhh….”